Former NFL offensive tackle Kyle Turley, who was one of the 4,500 former players in the concussion lawsuit against the NFL, said Thursday that he believes the $765 million settlement is a "great start to mending this issue and addressing this problem."
Turley, who appeared on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, also believes the settlement number ultimately could go up.
Waddle & Silvy: Was your name on this lawsuit?
Kyle Turley: Yes, I was. I was a part of the plaintiffs, if you will, in the case, one of the first guys to sign on.
W&S: What do you make of the resolution?
KT: First, go back, it was important this case be filed. I can pretty sure guarantee that none of us would be the wiser on concussions today had this lawsuit not been brought. So it’s a great day, I think, finally -- although the NFL wants to say this is not an admission of guilt -- I don’t think you throw $765 million at a problem that doesn’t exist. This is something that has plagued players in the National Football League for too long, and players at all levels in the sport of football and in sports in general and the general public in my opinion have gone in the dark for too long about this issue. I think with this settlement, I think that we’re seeing -- in what I know about the details -- a great start to mending this issue and addressing this problem.
W&S: How did the players decide to accept this offer from the NFL?
KT: I know just that they’ve been in discussions ever since mediation was ordered not too long ago. So they’ve been trying to run from this for too long and realized that they can’t. Evidence has been there. These firms don’t take on these cases unless the evidence is there that it’s going to be a “knock out of the park” case for them, and a guarantee. This resolution has been in the works for quite some time, I’m sure. As the NFL and their attorneys, and attorneys on both sides, obviously look ahead at things rather than where they’re at. They’re always strategizing. So I think this number has come about, and I think it’s a good number, and why I think it’s a good number is because of the details, and the details in this agreement from what I understand are that this number isn’t necessarily a capped number in that this situation and the numbers that are thrown at this are merely being thrown at this to believe that here’s a number we say can probably resolve this for us, if it’s proven that it doesn’t through this system then apparently there are some leverage in the terms of the contract that allow this money to be [inaudible] up if it’s not enough. So hopefully it is enough, so we’ll see.
W&S: What do you say to the people who say $765 [million] or thereabouts is a drop in the bucket for the NFL compared to the boatloads of money they're going to make over the years ... and it's almost a win for the league?
KT: That’s the way I think that the NFL would like it to be presented. But from what I understand, the provisions that are left in this agreement call for a much greater number than has been given to this to resolve the situation. I don’t feel that the $75 million that has been placed into the fund to take care of medical situations for guys and medications, doctor bills, all these other things, etc., is going to be enough. There is a reason why there are 4,500 plaintiffs. It’s not just because guys wanted quick money, as we understand and realize that even a billion-dollar settlement with this many people involved in it is only going to give if you equally divvy it out maybe $100,000 for each guy at the end of the day. But what this agreement is going to do is benefit immediately those individuals in these dire circumstances with these horrific diseases that we’ve been suffering from as National Football League players that are way beyond national rate averages. So I think this number that has been put out there and the numbers that have been put out there according to what I know is not a set-in-stone number. It’s merely a number that has been thrown at this settlement to hopefully be enough, and I don’t think that it is personally. So I think these provisions they’ve left and worked into this contract are right on and these attorneys have been working very hard at this for some time.
What I’m hoping comes out of this is that the mission of this as an injury, that it does exist, we need to pay attention to it, otherwise it’s going to cost you $765 million if you don’t and we need to fix this for our kids because we have three deaths already in youth football and the season hasn’t even started. I watched a kid get Life Flighted from the field in an ESPN-presented high school football game this last weekend. It’s past time there be proper physicians on the sidelines and we recognize this game as the most dangerous game and honor those that choose and dare to play it for our enjoyment and for the fans out there who love football.